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3rd Ave Belltown Paving Project (Virginia St to Broad St)

Taking care of basics

Updated May 18, 2017

What’s happening now

Beginning Friday, May 19 (7 PM) and ending Monday, May 22 (4 AM), 3rd Ave will be closed to southbound traffic between Blanchard and Virginia streets to install a storm drain and repave at the intersection of 3rd Ave and Lenora St.

Please note:

  • Southbound through traffic will be rerouted to 2nd Ave at Wall St. Local traffic can access 3rd Ave between Wall and Blanchard streets. Please follow posted detours (see map below).
  • A single northbound lane will remain open during the work.
  • Those walking will be rerouted around the work zone. The northwest corner of 3rd Ave and Lenora St will be closed for the duration of the work; the southwest corner will be closed temporarily on Saturday for Seattle Public Utilities work.
  • The work is expected to create noise, dust, vibration, and concrete odor.
  • Additional weekend work to repave the 3rd Ave and Lenora St intersection is anticipated for June 2-4 and June 9-11; we will update the website with more information before the work begins.

Construction on the 3rd Ave Paving Project through Belltown began Tuesday, May 2. The contractor is working between Virginia and Lenora streets through approximately late July. The bus stop at Virginia St is closed during this time.

Questions? Want to receive project updates?

Email the project team:
Email updates: Sign up using the form below
Call: (206) 920-7073

Click to view larger

Above: 3rd Ave before construction

Construction overview

To minimize the duration of the work in front of a given property or block, we’ve divided the project area into 4 work zones. Crews will be required to finish major construction in one zone before moving to the next:

  • Zone A:  Virginia St to midblock of Lenora St (crews are working here now)
  • Zone B:  Midblock of Lenora St to Battery St
  • Zone C:  Battery St to midblock north of Vine St
  • Zone D:  Midblock north of Vine St to Broad St

3rd Ave will generally remain open to traffic throughout construction, although will be reduced to a single lane in each direction in the active construction zone. Occasional detours are expected and will be communicated in advance. On-street parking will be restricted temporarily at construction locations.

The water main and sewer line work will require some water shutoffs, which we expect will occur at night, for the least impact. Weekend work will be necessary at intersections heavily used by Metro during the week. Other construction will occur during standard work hours.

SDOT is working closely with King County Metro so buses continue to operate during construction, although individual bus stops may be temporarily closed or moved. We will not simultaneously close bus stops next to one another.

Project Overview

3rd Ave through Belltown is a primary arterial carrying some 3,600 vehicles per day, approximately 45% of which are buses. Currently, the street has many potholes and patches from previous cuts into the pavement to install utilities.

The street is currently composed of a mix of concrete panels and asphalt. We will remove all of the asphalt and replace it with concrete panels, which will last longer than asphalt. We’ll replace existing curb lane concrete panels that are broken or have previously been cut into for repairs or utility service connections (which makes them more susceptible to breaking). 

In addition to repaving the street, the project includes:

  • Replacing curb ramps at some intersections to bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sidewalks will otherwise not be impacted.
  • Replacing and/or repairing sections of water mains and sewer lines. This will require water shutoffs, most likely at night for the least impact.
  • Installing electrical conduit at select locations.
  • Expanding both the northbound and southbound bus zones at Virginia St in order to better accommodate the large number of buses using these stops.


Construction began May 2, 2017 and will take approximately 10 months to complete.  We will update this page as construction progresses.


The estimated cost of this project is $9.3 million, with funding from the voter-approved Move Seattle Levy.

Contact Information

We’re committed to keeping you informed and working with neighbors to limit construction impacts to the extent feasible. Here are some ways to get more information about the project:

  • Subscribe for project email updates by clicking here.
  • Contact us directly with questions about the project or call at (206) 920-7073
  • Request a briefing for your business or organization (contact us via phone or email)

Phone line: (206) 920-7073 (calls are answered during weekday work hours, 7 AM to 5 PM, and monitored during night and weekend work)

Community Outreach Lead
Paul Elliott

Project Manager
Brian Glas


Other SDOT projects in the area

  • 2nd Ave Mobility Improvements - We are making traffic signal improvements and extending the existing 2-way protected bike lane along 2nd Ave from Pike St to Denny Way. These improvements will organize the street and move people more efficiently. Construction began in March and will continue through fall 2017.  Visit the project website here to learn more or contact the project hotline at (206) 905-3639.

  • Center City Connector Project - We will join the existing South Lake Union and the First Hill Streetcar lines, largely along 1st Ave through downtown, creating new north-south connections across downtown. Utility relocations are planned to start this summer. We expect to finish streetcar design by 2018 and the new streetcar line to open in 2020. Visit the project website here to learn more or contact the project team at or 206-615-1070.

  • Center City Bike Network - We are studying and prioritizing locations for a protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle. This spring we’re talking with the community about how to connect the two-way protected bike lane on 2nd Ave to the new Westlake protected bike lane via Bell St or a combination of Bell and Blanchard streets. Once a concept is finalized, we’ll seek funding and develop a schedule for implementation.
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